[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Footville 10-6-2011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The conduct of Village officials and employees in discharging their official responsibilities on behalf of the Village shall be in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct set forth in this chapter.
The proper operation of democratic government requires that public officials and employees be independent, impartial and responsible to the people; that government decisions and policy be made through proper governmental procedures; that public office not be used for personal gain and that members of the public have confidence in the integrity of government. In recognition of these goals, there is hereby established a Code of Conduct for all Village of Footville officials and employees, whether elected or appointed, paid or unpaid, including members of boards, committees and commissions of the Village, as well as any individuals who are candidates for elective office as soon as such individuals file nomination papers with the Village.
The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to establish guidelines for ethical standards of conduct for all such officials and employees by setting forth those acts or actions that are incompatible with the best interests of the Village of Footville and by directing disclosure by such officials and employees of private financial or other interests in matters affecting the Village. This Code of Conduct is intended as a guide for elected and appointed officials and employees to assist them in avoiding conflicts between their personal interests and their public responsibilities. It is intended to improve standards of public service and to promote and strengthen the confidence of the citizens of the Village in their elected and appointed officials and employees. The Village hereby reaffirms that each elected and appointed Village official and employee holds his or her position as a public trust and any intentional effort to realize substantial personal gain through official conduct is a violation of that trust. The provisions and purpose of this Code of Conduct and any related rules and regulations which may be established are hereby declared to be in the best interests of the Village of Footville.
The following definitions shall be applicable in this Code of Conduct:
- ANY THING OF VALUE
- Any money, property or thing of value, favor, loan, service
or promise of future employment, but not including reasonable fees
and honorariums or the exchange of seasonal, anniversary or customary
gifts among relatives and friends.[Amended 11-3-2011 by Ord. No. 110311]
- Any corporation, partnership, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, organization, self-employed individual or any other legal entity which engages in profit-making activities.
- Any person not included in the definition of an official who is employed by the Village.
- FINANCIAL INTEREST
- Any interest that shall yield, directly or indirectly, a monetary or other material benefit to any officer or employee or to any person employing or retaining the services of the officer or employee.
- The delivery or receipt of any thing of value without consideration of substantially equal value.
- IMMEDIATE FAMILY
- An individual's spouse, significant other, or partner and an individual's relative by marriage, lineal descent or adoption who receives, directly or indirectly, more than 1/2 of his or her support from the individual or from whom the individual receives, directly or indirectly, more than 1/2 of his or her support.
- Any person serving in an elected or appointed Village office established by statute or Village ordinance and any person appointed to a board, committee or commission established or appointed by the Village Board and/or Village President pursuant to the Municipal Code, whether paid or unpaid.
- PERSONAL INTEREST
- Any interest arising from a blood or marriage relationship or from a close business or political association, whether or not any financial interest is involved.
- SIGNIFICANT INTEREST
- Ownership or control, directly or indirectly, of at least 10% of the outstanding stock or other means of ownership of any business.
The provisions of the following sections of the Wisconsin Statutes, as from time to time amended, are incorporated as part of this Code of Conduct, exclusive of the penalties provided for therein, and shall apply to public officials and employees:
Public officials and employees hold office for the benefit of the public. They are bound to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the constitution of this state and to carry out, impartially, the laws of the nation, state and this municipality. They should observe in their official acts the highest standards of morality and discharge faithfully the duties of their office regardless of personal considerations, recognizing that the public interest must be their prime concern. Their conduct in both their official and private affairs should be above reproach so as to foster respect for government.
Officials and employees should comply with the rules of work and performance established as the standard for their positions by the appropriate authority.
Officials and employees should not exceed their authority or violate the law or ask others to do so and they should work in full cooperation with other public officials and employees unless prohibited from so doing by law or by official regulations concerning confidentiality of their work.
Members of the Village staff are expected to act in accordance with their appropriate professional code of ethics.
Use of public property. No official or employee shall use or permit the unauthorized use of Village-owned vehicles, equipment, materials or property for personal convenience or profit, except when such use is available to the public generally or is provided by Village policy for the use of such official or employee in the conduct of official business, as authorized by the Village Board or other authorized board, commission or committee.
Obligations to citizens. No official or employee shall grant any special consideration, treatment or advantage to anyone beyond that which is available to every other person. No official or employee shall use or attempt to use his or her position with the Village to secure any advantage, preference or gain, over and above his or her rightful remuneration and benefits, for himself or herself or for anyone else.
Financial and personal interest prohibited.
No official or employee of the Village shall engage in any business or transaction or shall act to promote any financial or other personal interest, direct or indirect, which is incompatible with the proper discharge of official duties in the public interest, contrary to the provisions of this Code of Conduct, or which would tend to impair independence of judgment or action in the performance of official duties.
Any member of the Village Board who has a financial or personal interest in any proposed legislative action pending before the Village Board shall disclose on the record the nature and extent of such interest. If the interest is a financial interest, such official shall not participate in debate concerning, or vote upon such legislation unless authorized to do so pursuant to the Statutory Standards of Conduct set forth in § 15-4, above. If the matter before the Board involves a member's personal interest the member may participate in debate or discussion and vote on the matter, following disclosure, subject to the Statutory Standards of Conduct referred to herein.
Any nonelected official who has a financial interest or personal interest in any legislative action pending before any board, commission or committee of which the official is a member or which the official may influence by supplying input or otherwise, shall disclose on the record the nature and extent of such interest. Such official shall not participate in debate concerning, or vote upon such legislation unless authorized to do so pursuant to the Statutory Standards of Conduct set forth in § 15-4, above. If the matter before the Board involves a member's personal interest the member may participate in debate or discussion and vote on the matter, following disclosure, subject to the Statutory Standards of Conduct referred to herein.
Any Village employee who has a financial interest or personal interest in any legislative action pending before any board, commission or committee of which the employee is a member or which the employee may influence by supplying input or otherwise, shall disclose on the record of such board, commission or committee the nature and extent of such interest. Such official shall not participate in debate concerning, or vote upon such legislation unless authorized to do so pursuant to the Statutory Standards of Conduct set forth in § 15-4, above. If the matter before the Board involves a member's personal interest the member may participate in debate or discussion and vote on the matter, following disclosure, subject to the Statutory Standards of Conduct referred to herein.
Disclosure of confidential information. No official or employee shall, without proper legal authorization, disclose confidential information concerning the property, government or affairs of the Village nor shall such information be used to advance the financial or other private interests of the official or employee or others.
Gifts and favors.
[Amended 11-3-2011 by Ord. No. 110311]
No official or employee, personally or through a member of his or her immediate family, may solicit or accept, either directly or indirectly, from any person or organization, any gift or hospitality if it could reasonably be expected to influence the employee's official actions or judgments or be considered a reward for any action or inaction on the part of the official or employee.
Receipt by an official or employee of the Village of a gift or hospitality which is unsolicited and which is of nominal value, whether from an individual interested in business dealings with the Village which the official or employee may influence or control, or otherwise, is not a violation of this Code, provided that the receipt of such gift or hospitality could not reasonably be expected to influence the official's or employee's official actions or judgments or be considered a reward for any action or inaction on the part of the official or employee. This Code shall not be construed to prevent candidates for elective office from accepting hospitality from citizens for the purpose of supporting the candidate's campaign.
Gifts received by an official or employee or his or her immediate family which are prohibited by this Code of Conduct shall be reported to the Village Clerk within 10 days of receipt for recommended disposition. Any person subject to this Code who becomes aware that he or she has been offered any gift, the acceptance of which would constitute a violation of this Code, shall, within seven days, disclose the details surrounding said offer to the Village Clerk. Failure to comply with this reporting requirement shall constitute an offense under this section.
Any provision of this section to the contrary notwithstanding, any reports required by this Code of Conduct to be made by any member of the Village Board shall be made to the Village Clerk who shall convey the report to the Village Board by written communication. Any such reports required to be made by the Village Clerk will be made to the Village President who shall convey the report to the Village Board by written communication.
No official or employee of the Village shall participate in the selection, award or administration of a contract supported by funding provided by any state or federal agency if a conflict of interest, as described above in this section, real or apparent, would be involved. By example, such a conflict would arise when the official or employee, any member of their immediate family, their partner or an organization which employs, or is about to employ, the official or employee has a financial or personal interest in the business to be awarded the contract. No official or employee shall solicit or accept gratuities, favors or anything of monetary value from contractors, potential contractors or parties to sub-agreements involved in the project to be supported by such funding.
Upon the sworn complaint of any person alleging facts which, if true, would constitute a violation of the provisions of this section, the Village President shall appoint an ad hoc committee comprised of members of the Village Board, which may include the Village President, to conduct a preliminary investigation of the facts alleged in the complaint in a manner consistent with applicable law. The committee shall provide to the Village Board a written report including its conclusion as to whether or not the allegations of the complaint are sufficiently substantial so as to reasonably require that the complaint be heard and acted upon by the Village Board. Upon receipt of the report of the committee, the Village Board shall determine whether or not to conduct a hearing in regard to the allegations of the complaint. Absent an affirmative vote of the Village Board to conduct a hearing, the complaint shall be dismissed. In the event a hearing is held before the Village Board, the hearing shall be in accordance with applicable substantive and procedural law and the requirements of due process including notice, an opportunity to be heard, an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and to present testimony and other evidence in support of the accused's position and an opportunity to be represented by counsel or other representative at the expense of the accused. The Village Board shall issue a written decision, including findings of fact and conclusions of law, as to whether the conduct described in the complaint constitutes a violation of this Code of Conduct. In the event the Village Board determines that a violation has occurred, sanctions may be imposed which may include verbal or written reprimand, suspension from employment with or without pay, termination of employment, removal from office or other appropriate consequence.
In the event the Village Board determines that the facts alleged in the complaint are such as to require the matter to be determined in accordance with the grievance procedure provided for in Chapter 52, Grievance Procedure, of the Code of the Village of Footville, the Village Board shall, in lieu of referring the matter to an ad hoc committee, refer the matter to an impartial hearing officer in accordance with Step 3 of the grievance procedure, whereupon the matter shall proceed in accordance with Step 3 and Step 4 of the grievance procedure.